mo·​dal·​i·​ty | \ mō-ˈda-lə-tē How to pronounce modality (audio) \
plural modalities

Definition of modality

1a : the quality or state of being modal
b : a modal quality or attribute : form
2 : the classification of logical propositions (see proposition sense 1) according to their asserting or denying the possibility, impossibility, contingency, or necessity of their content
3 : one of the main avenues of sensation (such as vision)
4 : a usually physical therapeutic agency

Examples of modality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Hawthorne is among a new generation of healers determined to deliver this modality to Black people who need it. Julissa James, Los Angeles Times, "Why are so many turning to Black herbalists? Their remedies are tailor-made for 2020," 4 Dec. 2020 His vast knowledge in cardiology has been a tremendous blessing to all of the modalities in our department. Alice Adams, Houston Chronicle, "Salute to Nurses: The Houston Chronicle honors 2020's top nurse leaders," 4 May 2020 One of Microsoft’s hidden strengths is its support of modalities: differing choices of user input, such as touch, voice, pen, eye tracking, and more. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Surface Duo may have a 'Peek' interface for glancing at calls," 26 Feb. 2020 Through their health coaching experience, clients can also be introduced to other healing modalities, such as meditation, mindful movement, and even alternative practices like acupuncture. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "Why A Health Coach Is 2020's Spiritual Guru," 14 Jan. 2020 Ewing explained that these modalities fall into the meditation/self-help/deep breathing family. Jackie Pilossoph,, "Column: Chinese medicine experts offer novel techniques for managing teen anxiety," 10 Nov. 2019 For all the intervening technological change, entertainment on TV remains the dominant modality of all twenty-first-century news. Greg Jackson, Harper's magazine, "Vicious Cycles," 6 Jan. 2020 Beyond questions about the Lightning Process as a treatment modality, the study itself violated core principles of scientific inquiry. David Tuller, STAT, "BMJ should retract flawed research paper on chronic fatigue syndrome," 13 Dec. 2019 Friday Fitness Sampler kicked off on Sept. 6 and runs weekly through Sept. 27, from 9 to 10 a.m. Each week features a chance to sample a different modality with a certified instructor., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 16 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'modality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of modality

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for modality

Time Traveler

The first known use of modality was in 1545

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Cite this Entry

“Modality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for modality


mo·​dal·​i·​ty | \ mō-ˈdal-ət-ē How to pronounce modality (audio) \
plural modalities

Medical Definition of modality

1 : one of the main avenues of sensation (as vision)
2a : a usually physical therapeutic agency
b : an apparatus for applying a modality

More from Merriam-Webster on modality

Britannica English: Translation of modality for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about modality

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